Uma pausa no dia para alimentar a mente e o espírito - Compilação dos Melhores artigos encontrados na net
Barra de vídeo
sexta-feira, 27 de novembro de 2015
Black Mass review: 'deeply exasperating'
Johnny Depp's prosthetic nose steals the show in this lumpy true-crime thriller about the Boston gangster Whitey Bulger
Johnny Depp has an extraordinary face. So why doesn’t he use it? In Black Mass, the new true-crime thriller from Scott Cooper, the actor is buried beneath a rubber nose and forehead, an artificially receding hairline, replacement eyebrows, crumbling, brown fake teeth, lizard-blue contact lenses, and a topcoat of sickly, grey-green make-up. In still photographs, the look just about works, but in the film, he often might as well be acting through a naan bread.
Depp plays James "Whitey" Bulger, the head of the Winter Hill Gang, who dealt drugs and ran an extortion racket on the streets of inner-city Boston in the Eighties and early Nineties while simultaneously working as an FBI informant. The character is a monster – and perhaps the purpose of the prosthetics is to make that monstrousness obvious, bringing it right up to the surface of the man, like scum on a stagnant pond. But in practice, it’s dramatically stifling, and, at worst, distracting: during a dinner scene, I kept expecting Bulger’s nose to hinge forwards and drop into the soup.
In Martin Scorsese’s operatic Boston mob epic The Departed, Jack Nicholson played a character heavily based on Bulger, and did it with nothing more than a smear of grease through his hair and a satanic goatee. Perhaps if Depp had done the same, Bulger might have been his long-hoped-for comeback to serious acting: in the end, he just feels like another Mad Hatter.
That’s a negative way to begin what is, on balance, a positive review. But this is a deeply exasperating film: lumpy, unbalanced and often derivative, but with isolated moments of riveting drama.
Cooper (Crazy Heart, Out of the Furnace) borrows heavily from the Scorsese stylebook throughout: even his quick shots of cash-counting machines look like they were cribbed from Casino. But he mostly ignores the empire-building part of the story that’s so darkly satisfying in Scorsese’s gangster biopics.
Instead, his film luxuriates in the grisly details – the behind-the-scenes shootings and throttlings that for Bulger seem to qualify as both business and pleasure. You might expect a film called Black Mass to be a horror movie, and in a sense, right down to Tom Holkenborg’s throbbing, string-heavy score, that’s what it is.
Frustratingly, Mark Mallouk and Jez Butterworth’s screenplay, adapted from a book by two Boston journalists, never really manages to explain why Bulger is who he is – instead, it settles for defining him in terms of who he isn’t. He has two close relationships: one is with his white-sheep brother Bill (Benedict Cumberbatch), a Massachusetts state senator, and the other with John Connolly (Joel Edgerton), an FBI agent and long-time Bulger family friend, who’s prepared to milk that connection for his own professional advancement.
At the start of the film, Connolly offers Bulger a deal. If he'll help squash the growing Italian Mafia in the city with the occasional tip-off, the FBI will allow the Winter Hill Gang to continue their operations unhindered. It’s an arrangement that initially pays off handsomely for both parties, but the compromise eats away at Connolly’s integrity – and soon enough, the lawman is more Bulger’s source than Bulger is his.
But Edgerton’s portrayal of Connolly’s slide to the dark side is full-throated and gripping, and he shares some terrific scenes with a couple of suspicious FBI superiors, played by Kevin Bacon and Corey Stoll, who both come to doubt the value of the Bulger deal. Better still is a wrenchingly unpleasant conversation at Connolly’s house, in which a light-hearted chat about a steak sauce recipe leads to not one, but two barely veiled threats of murder, and makes clear the specific whirrings of Bulger’s criminal mind.
It’s in scenes like these that the supporting cast members get a momentary chance to shine: Julianne Nicholson as Connolly’s increasingly uneasy wife, Dakota Johnson as the mother of Bulger’s kid and Peter Sarsgaard as an obstreperous cokehead all make a lasting impression in too-small roles.
Perhaps best of all is Juno Temple as a puppyishly naive streetwalker who becomes a liability to Bulger’s operation, and whose neck might as well be marked "strangle here". The sense of doom as soon as she appears on screen is what Black Mass does best. It’s just a pity that the film, much like Depp’s latex-swathed face, doesn’t quite add up to a plausible whole.